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Alumni Awards

The highest honors presented by the AU Alumni Association

The American University Alumni Awards are the highest honors presented by the AU Alumni Association. Selected through a highly competitive process, each recipient has made a lasting impact on society and on AU through outstanding professional, philanthropic, or volunteer accomplishments.

Awards Categories

Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award

Renamed in 2016 to commemorate the successes of AU's first alumni president, the Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments.

Alumni Recognition Award

The Alumni Recognition Award recognizes alumni who inspire the world around them through service to the community or a philanthropic mission.

Alumni Eagle Award

The Alumni Eagle Award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the University and/or the Alumni Association.

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award recognizes recent alumni (those who received their degrees within the last 10 years) who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

  • Each recipient must have attained notable achievement or made a lasting contribution in his or her professional, philanthropic, or voluntary endeavors.
  • Each recipient must have earned a degree from American University.
  • Each recipient is expected to attend the awards ceremony to accept his or her award, except in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Awards will not be given posthumously.
  • In highly exceptional circumstances, an alumnus/a who has already received one category of alumni award might receive an award in a different category at another point in time.
  • The awards committee is not obligated to select a recipient from every category in any given year. 
  • A separate nomination form must be submitted for each nominee.
  • In addition to the nomination form, nominators must submit a 1-3 page statement establishing the candidate's qualifications with clear and concise detail as to why he/she should be selected for the award, as well as an additional 1-3 letters of recommendation. Please limit supporting documents (not including the nomination form) to 10 pages.
  • The Awards Committee, comprised of members of the American University Alumni Board, will not conduct independent research on a nominee, and the Committee will only consider information when it is part of a submitted nomination.
  • The Awards Committee will not consider nominations that consist solely of a nominee's resume.
  • Incomplete nomination packets will not be considered. 

Nominations are accepted annually online. The process is currently closed. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 202-885-5900 with questions.

History of the Alumni Awards

Explore the history of alumni awards at American University and see a list of past recipients.


Meet the 2019 Alumni Award Winners

The American University Alumni Board honored seven recipients of Alumni Awards in 2019. These alumni are among the most involved and accomplished AU Eagles.



Do you have questions about criteria for alumni awards or the nominations process?